Nov 14, 2014
Please Debunk this Parsha Myth
Abrahams Tent by Michoel Muchnik

From the COLlive inbox: A reader asks for the source of the notion that Sarah's tent had bread or challah with a long shelf-life.

Dear COLlive,

Every year, as this Parsha comes around, I'm reminded of a certain detail in the Parsha that seems to need clarification.

Dedicated teachers over the decades have been teaching this to their students, to the point that it is widely accepted as a fact.

I'm referring to the second of the three miracles that took place in Sarah's tent, and returned when Rivka married Yitzchak. The candles burned from week to week, the challah stayed fresh from week to week, and there was a cloud over the tent. Right?

A closer look at Rashi says 'a bracha was found in the dough.' Bracha metzuya b'issa. No mention of the bread's shelf life!

The bracha was that the dough increased miraculously, (according to the Sapirstein chumash.)

It seems that someone confused this challa with the lechem haponim, which did stay fresh from week to week.

It may seem like a minor detail, but these details are important, and we all want to know the real story!

Do any of your readers have more information on this topic? Do you know any Parsha myths, that are taught in error by well meaning teachers?

Please share, l'toeles harabbim!

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Opinions and Comments
another girsa in Rashi
the Rebbe does bring in likutei sichos another girsa in rashi that says the bracha was in the dough AND bread/challah. (although it doesn't say what that bracha was)
(11/14/2014 12:30:56 PM)
Thanks! It's in all the Parsha curriculums, so ya, an actual source would be great
(11/14/2014 12:39:14 PM)
Sheim Mishmuel
"האהלה שרה אמו. ברש"י דוגמת שרה אמו שכ"ז ששרה קיימת הי' נר דלוק מע"ש לע"ש וברכה מצוי' בעיסה וענן קשור על האוהל,
ומשמתה פסקו וכשבאה רבקה חזרו. הנה הרמב"ן ז"ל )בהקדמה לספר שמות( כתב שהאבות הי' סוד ה' עלי אהלם, והמשכן שהי'
אח"כ הי' דוגמת האבות. והנה שלשה דברים הללו מצינו במשכן שהי' הנר המערבי דולק בנס שממנו הי' מדליק ובו הי' מסיים,
ובלחם הפנים לחם חם ביום הלקחו ושנשתלחה ברכה בלחם הפנים ועוד זה כי ענן ה' על המשכן, וכל אלה היו נסים. והם עצמם
הדברים שנאמרו בשרה. וענין נר דולק מע"ש לע"ש, היינו שימי החול לא קלקלו את האור שהשיגו בש"ק וא"כ כשבאה שבת שניה
ניתוסף אור על אור, והוא כענין נר המערבי שממנו הי' מדליק ובו הי' מסיים, וכעין הכוונה הנ"ל, דתוספת האור שבא הי' מתוסף על
האור הקודם לו, וברכה מצוי' בעיסה הוא כעין שהי' במשכן שנשתלחה ברכה בלחה"פ וממנה בא שובע לעולם, וזהו הרמז שהי'
הלחם חם ביום הלקחו שלא נתיישן, שמאחר שנשתלחה בו ברכה, הרי היתה החיות שבו שופעת עליו תמיד, ואינו כמו דבר טבעי
שכמו שנשפעת בו חיות מתחילה כן היא לעולם. וכ"ז כאשר היו ישראל זכאים והחליפו כח בעבודתם בכל עת, וזהו עצמו הי' בשרה
שלא נתישנה אצלה העבודה והכל הי' בכלל הכנה אצלה ולכך היתה הברכה מצוי' בעיסה והי' המאכל ג"כ נסי כמו שהיתה היא
עצמה בעבודה, וענן קשור על האוהל זוהי השראת השכינה, כמו על המשכן" )שם משמואל, חיי שרה , תרע"א
(11/14/2014 12:53:58 PM)
He's right. can't find anyone that explains it to mean week to week
The Midrash says that there was blessing in Sarah's dough.
(Bereishis Rabbah 60) Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz comments that
this does not mean that Sarah's meager dough grew to massive
proportions. Avraham was a wealthy man who had enough
flour to allow Sarah to make plenty of dough. The blessing was
that when she made the dough it rose evenly and baked into a
delightful, sweet-smelling, gleaming loa
(11/14/2014 12:56:04 PM)
where is the source of the sappirstein chumash?
(11/14/2014 12:56:46 PM)
Hes righr
People explain it to mean her guests left satiated. simply that she had a blessing to be a good cook
(11/14/2014 1:01:04 PM)
Shem mishmuel
The Sheim mishmuel says that the mishkan is built on the model of sarahs tent. He links the bracha in sarahs chala to the lechem hapanim that stayed fresh, the candles staying lit to the ner maravi etc. I linked the hebrew version. Bracha found in the isa does mean enough, or filling etc but this is the source for the linkage.
(11/14/2014 1:08:50 PM)
My challa lasts a week.
I think with all the sugar that I put in mine, it helps it last. :-)
At least here in NY, where it is not so hot and we have a/c
(11/14/2014 1:12:53 PM)
Another parsha error
I listen all the time to teachers teaching that Yaakov waited seven years and then Lavan tricked him into marrying Leah (true). Then Yaakov waited another seven years and married Rachel (False) He actually waited another seven days, then married Rachel and worked the seven years for her.
(11/14/2014 1:43:22 PM)
to #7
he says nothing about it being fresh, just connects the bread aspect of it
(11/14/2014 1:58:49 PM)
Another explanation
"brocho" in dough means that u would fill up from a small amount. As we find regarding the brochos in bechukosai
(11/14/2014 2:08:51 PM)
Bar Seichel's reinterpretation of #4 above
You said: "Avraham was a wealthy man who had enough flour to allow Sarah to make plenty of dough" Maybe it would be more accurate to say "Avraham made plenty of dough and his wealth allowed Sarah to have plenty of flour to make her own dough" !
(11/14/2014 2:19:38 PM)
from 3 &7 to #10
Correct. My point was the linkage between the lechem hapanim and Sarah's Chala is the source for conflating the miracles. But see this amazing point. It is not the Jewish home that is compared to the beis hamikdash and we are recreating the lostglory in our own homes. But rather the beis hamikdash is built on the model of the Jewish home and the kohen gadol is built on the model of Sarah our matriarch

(11/14/2014 4:13:03 PM)
To #9
thanks for pointing out that misunderstanding regarding Rachel!

Based on your proven ability to point out parsha errors can I suggest you write a blog with a parsha error of the week?

I suppose it would be funny when you error and someone blogs about the error in the parsha error of the week.
(11/14/2014 5:32:59 PM)
I just came back from a shiur in 770
The dough was blessed which some medorshim say it meant that the dough was blessed and a recipe yielding 10 challis, really made 20 challos and the like.
(11/15/2014 6:57:09 PM)
Thanks # 3, 7 & 13
Maybe you can clarify: Does it say anywhere that Eisav had red hair? Or was he red skinned, and hairy (with no mention of the colour of his hair)?
(11/15/2014 9:10:35 PM)
Some of the stories in Midrash are allegories and not necessarily have really happened-it would be nice to which are allegories. Paroh's small height and Titus being killed by a gnat that grew gigantic were two examples that may have been allegorical.
(11/15/2014 10:29:16 PM)
Shalach monos
It does NOT have to be two brochos.
(11/15/2014 11:53:21 PM)
I feel like this is a venting session :)
(11/16/2014 2:39:55 AM)
I too would love to read more common parsha bloopers
(11/16/2014 3:50:59 AM)
gezel sheina
Children in school are taught that sleep is the worst thing to steal as you can never pay it back.

While it sounds nice it isn't considered stealing halachokly as stealing can only be done when taking something tangible and sleep isn't tangible.
(11/16/2014 11:13:18 AM)
red hair
most midrashim, and meforshim understand that it is red complexion, temperament, or covered in blood. dovid is called a similar description. in shir hashirim the description is adomi and black hair, so clearly there it is complexion. However in torah sheleimah see the footnote where he brings down a midrash that is in manuscript that says red hair. Shadal says red hair as well. if one read the verse as saying red hair covering his whole body it might work, but the simple understanding of the text seems to read adomi, red (comma), covered in hair like a cloak.
(11/16/2014 3:28:54 PM)
stealing sleep
the poskim talk about this and some justify using the term stealing although the core issues are love your neighbor, not to hurt, and property rights include quiet.

הרבה מהפוסקים האריכו בענין איסור 'גזל שינה' ומקורו, והעולה מן הדברים שאין זה איסור מדין 'גזל' אלא מדין 'ואהבת לרעך כמוך' או מדין אונאת דברים שאסור לאדם לצער את חבירו. ובשם החפץ חיים הובא (בספר החפץ חיים ופעלו חלק ג' עמוד ק"ה) שהמעיר את חבירו משנתו גוזל ממנו את מנוחתו וזה גזל שאין לו השבה.

ראה בשו"ת שבט הלוי חלק ז' סי' רכ"ד שנשאל בדבר מקור איסור זה וכתב בתחילה שאין איסור גזל אלא כאשר גוזל חפץ שהגזל ישתמש בו, אך גזל שינה הוא רק מבטל תועלת מחבירו, אך אח"כ הביא מקור מגמרא בברכות ו,ב שיש גזילה בברכת שלום כלשון הפסוק 'גזלת העני בבתיכם'. ובשו"ת משנה הלכות חי"ב סי' תמ"ד האריך ג"כ בענין זה והביא מקור בדברי התוספתא ב"ק פ"ג ה"ז שיש שבעה מיני גזלנים וחלק מהם אינם בנקיטת חפץ ולכן אף שאין מוזכר שם גזל שינה אך מוכח ששייך בזה דין גזילה. וראה גם בתשובתו לבעל השבט הלוי בענין זה בחי"ד סי' קצ"ט. ובפתחי חושן הלכות אונאה פט"ו הערה ג' האריך בענין זה והביא מקורות שהאיסור הוא מדין אונאה ומדין 'ואהבת לרעך כמוך' והאריך בהרבה פרטי דינים בענין זה. ובשם הגר"ח קנייבסקי שליט"א הובא בדרך שיחה עמ' ק"ז שאמר שגזל שינה הוא חידוש של בעלי המוסר והוא רק ענין של חסד ומדין 'ואהבת לרעך כמוך'.
(11/16/2014 3:39:23 PM)
Esther and mordechai
were cousins, NOT uncle and neice.

Bas dodo translates as daughter of uncle i.e. cousin

Avichayil (esthers father) was mordechais uncle.

Source: megillas esther . perek beis pasuk 7 and 15
(11/16/2014 6:48:20 PM)
Title doesn't match article
Is this 'debunking a myth' with a forgone conclusion, or is the point to find out if there is a mokor?
(11/16/2014 6:54:24 PM)
יגעתי ולא מצאתי
Focusing on the initial post that Sarah's "challah stayed fresh from week to week"

There are many places online that cite this including parasha sheets and woman's sites.

It also appears in many recent cooking books and the such if you check Google books but no place that authoritatively brings a source.

The source is not in Midrash Rabbah 60:16 and those that say so are mistranslating.

It is not cited as a girsa or midrash in Toras Shleimah, Meam Loez, Sefer HaParshiyos , Pardes Yosef, The Midrash Says, and others. Still looking.

Although there is some indirect allusion to the Lechem HaPanim in Shem MiShmuel and other more Modern Israeli sites online, it is not direct.

It would be interesting to know when / where this " chiddush-blooper" was introduced into the curriculum and books.

PS #17 has no clue what is being discussed.. The value of midrashim including those cited in #17 have been dealt with by the Maharal in Beer HaGolah.
The question here is that what is taught has no basis in sefarim.....

PSS I once wondered for years why Heimish pictires showed Vashti with a horn and not a tail until I found that Rabbenu Bachaye says so in his perush to the Megilla.
It would be nice to find the same for here instead of someone's parsha sheet from the 1960's for example.
(11/17/2014 11:09:47 AM)
another possibility
is that no matter how much flour was taken out of the bag, it always remained full.
(11/17/2014 4:05:08 PM)
to Number 22
(11/17/2014 6:28:22 PM)
to #27
Logic like yours creates the myth that this young lady correctly labels..... your comment is for Channukah licht and Elisha and the oil....
(11/17/2014 8:49:07 PM)
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